We have recently been reading a fascinating long-term study of 14 contestants of ‘The Biggest Loser’ regarding the weight-loss they achieved during the show and a follow up on their progress 6 years later. In the Biggest Loser TV show, contestants exercised strenuously, sometimes up to 6 hours per day and their diet was restricted to 1200 calories per day.
Although the contestants lost a lot of weight, the follow up study 6 years later showed that contestants continued to struggle with substantial weight gain after the show’s conclusion. The study concluded that there were long-term changes to contestants Resting Metabolic Rate due to the approach taken on the TV show to weight loss.
We shouldn’t however be discouraged with the results from this study and in fact there are good lessons we can take into consideration for weight loss in 2021.
4 important lessons from the long-term study of Biggest Loser contestants.
Extreme low-calorie diets don’t work in the long term. Crash dieting for fast weight-loss resulted in contestants reducing their bodies resting metabolic rate making long-term weight loss difficult. A better approach for weight loss is to focus on good nutrition with a small calorie deficit.
Exercising vigorously for 4-6 hours per day is for professional athletes and isn’t sustainable for normal people. Contestants in the show where not able to maintain strenuous exercise routines when they returned to work. Stick to the Australian guidelines for exercise (30-60 mins per day of moderate intensity) and include some resistance training 2 days a week.
Extreme low-calorie diets are difficult in the short term. Contestants in the show were able to maintain the low-calorie diet during the show due to peer pressure of being on a national competition however reported complete exhaustion at the completion of the show. A better approach would be to focus on improving on-going nutrition with high-protein meals throughout the day.
In order to lose weight, focus on getting your nutrition in order with good quality foods and sustainable meal planning. As you slowly lose weight from time to time you will need to check your meal plan and re-adjust overall calorie intake if required.
Aussielent meal plan calculator
Aussielent has developed a meal plan calculator that will provide you with a personalised meal plan to meet your weight loss goals. Our approach is to focus on good nutrition with a small calorie reduction and a moderate intensity exercise routine in line with Australian guidelines.
1. Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After “The Biggest Loser” Competition - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27136388/